Hackers breach New York Times: report

The FBI is investigating a breach of The New York Times thought to be carried out by Russian government hackers, CNN reported Tuesday.

The attack, discovered in recent months, is thought by investigators to be part of a broader hacking campaign targeting reporters at the Times and other news outlets as well as Democratic Party organizations, officials said.

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The Times has hired a private security firm to work with U.S. security officials to determine how the hackers were able to gain access, the officials said.

The paper would confirm neither the breach nor the investigation.

"Like most news organizations we are vigilant about guarding against attempts to hack into our systems," spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said in a statement.

"There are a variety of approaches we take up to and including working with outside investigators and law enforcement. We won't comment on any specific attempt to gain unauthorized access to The Times."

News organizations are seen by security experts as top targets for foreign intelligence agencies seeking to gain insight into how a given country’s election might turn out. They can offer a window into reporter contacts and communications within the U.S. government — as well as potentially sensitive unpublished information — suggesting that the reported breach could be traditional intelligence-gathering on the part of the Kremlin.

But the release of the hacked Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails on the eve of the party’s national convention in Philadelphia led many to believe that Russia is using information warfare as a way to influence the outcome of the election.

Officials as well as security experts are virtually certain that the DNC attack was carried out by a well-known Russian intelligence group.

Security analysts believe the same government-backed groups also attacked the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Clinton campaign.

No similar attacks have been reported by the Republican Party, although analysts believe it’s unlikely that they have not also been targeted.